The voices that make up the song of Samuel’s rescue are a choir. It took the contributions of so many to make the beautiful music that is Samuel’s return. In every great chorale number there is a soloist that makes the performance. In Samuel’s homecoming song there is one voice that rises above the rest. She will never tell you. So I will.
When the fever and the fervor of the first days died down, after Jessica’s fast and furious flight up from Harlan, after a week of futile and fruitless searching when Jess had to return home, after the frenzy of Facebook that had so many out hoping to be the hero to bring Samuel back died down…there was one person who quietly and doggedly refused to ever give up. When the task was inglorious at best, painfully cold and exhausting in truth, there was one person that kept going, day after day. When all hope seemed lost, when I lost my faith, there is one person who did not.
For seventy days, since zero hour of Lost Samuel, her willingness to believe in the possibility of Samuel’s safe return superseded all voices of doubt. Dismissing that vision was completely incomprehensible. There were countless hours trudging through snow knee deep or more. There was cold until it hurt and then still more, cold to the bone until warmth was a vague memory that seemed a lifetime away. There were days and nights spent posting hundreds and hundreds of flyers and then hundreds more. There were posters made, sandwich board stands home-made to hold them and miles spent driving and locating them wherever a potential sighting came in.
Logging, mapping, plotting, charting – flyering locations, possible sightings, sightings ruled out, feeding stations set, filled and refilled, trail cams set and checked, feeding stations dismantled and then reset. There was one person who said at the end of every day, “I will try again tomorrow”. In the absence of any reason to believe, she got up day after day and believed anyway. There was no noise, no fanfare. There was no desire for accolades or admiration. There was just a quiet and steely determination to never give up and to see Samuel’s safe return. Her steadfast refusal to give up led to the tip that finally brought Samuel home.
Today was payday. Here is the culmination of this 70 day heart-stopping, exhausting, emotional roller coaster ride:
So many people contributed to Samuel’s song, but the voice of love that rose loud enough to guide the rest and finally to guide Samuel home is that of Janine, Co-Founder of our organization. I know she will be self-conscious with the telling, but it’s true. Thank you, Janine, for never giving up.